I am a member of a wonderful Facebook group called CF Originals (founded by Christi Friesen). The other day another member, a talented clayer named Renate Ridley posted a picture of one of her first polymer clay creations, a lovely Rose and Blueberry sculpture. That made me think and remember my first clay works and all the countless mistakes I’ve made :). Today I want to share a part of them with you, so you can have a good laugh 🙂 and remember your first experiences. As to those of you who are just starting on the road to polymer, these stories will hopefully save you the pain I felt all the way :).
Up on the left is the very first piece I’ve made using polymer clay – the Unexpected Spring necklace. The focal flower bead is made of clay.
Right here is the star of the show :). Oh, man, what didn’t I do wrong with that! I didn’t have the slightest clue about polymer clay when I made this. Back in my home country (Russia) I worked with plasticine and when I first came to America I did food sculpture.
Plasticine does not require conditioning. So, I didn’t condition my clay. I took it out of its package, laid on my table, pulled out my flower cookie cutter and cut right through the whole block of clay :D. That slightly deformed my cookie cutter. I marveled at what a hard material polymer clay is, and trimmed the bead with a knife to the right thickness.
Then i made a hole in it. Nobody told me to bake beads on needles or wires, so I didn’t. I put it right on a tile (nobody told me to put something underneath it either) and stuck it in the oven. I did not have an over thermometer :). Too high of the temperature and uneven heating caused the bead back to form little caverns. In addition, the bead hole left without any support closed on itself, leaving only 2 little separate openings. So, the wire you see here is actually 2 pieces of wire glued into these openings. I didn’t know at the time that you can drill the clay :).
Well, when the bead finally baked, I pulled it out. The clay I got was sort of colorless, with a slight greenish tint. I thought it was good; I didn’t want to start working with bright colors right away. It was dark in the room. I looked at my baked bead and noticed that it glows in the dark :D. That was the clay I got – glow-in-the-dark. That taught me to always read the labels before buying any clay :).
Well, a glow in the dark bead didn’t go along with my design, so, I pulled out my acrylic paint and covered the bead with a few layers of it. Horrendous caverned back was disguised with a pattern drawn in glitter glue. Then I covered it with a thick layer of glaze. Then I glued the chain links and the glass marble to it. Glass marble taught be another lesson – unless you love bubbles, do not use glue over a thick layer of glaze :).
After all, I did manage to string it, didn’t I? 😀
To be continued…
Meanwhile, if you have any funny stories like this one, I’d be happy if you shared them with me :).